Minister forecasts 2030 eastern gas production at 150 bln cu m
MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's energy minister said Monday annual natural gas production from deposits in the east of the country could reach 150 billion cubic meters by 2030.
Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko told an energy forum that the forecast was based on a program for the development of regional deposits, including anticipated growing demand for natural gas from China, the Asia-Pacific region, and domestic regional consumers.
Natural-gas giant Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation signed a memorandum March 21 on Russian natural gas deliveries to China.
Gas exports to China are expected to come from West Siberia during the first stage of the project to build a gas pipeline system to meet the energy-hungry Asian country's needs, and later from East Siberia.
Khristenko said a gas pipeline to China could be commissioned in 2011, with exports amounting to 30-38 billion cubic meters of gas a year at each stage by 2020.
He said these projects would contribute to Russia's and therefore global energy security, which Russia has declared the No.1 issue for its presidency of the G8 in 2006.
"We have talked a lot about global energy security, but each state's own energy policy is of great importance in this respect," Khristenko said.